Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can laser therapy cause cancer?
The short answer to this is no! No mutational effects have been observed resulting from light with wavelengths in the red or infra-red range in doses used within laser therapy. (Tuner and Hode, Laser Therapy: Clinical Practice and Scientific Background, 2002) There is no evidence at this time to indicate that laser treatment will either harm or benefit patients with malignancies. Thus, if there is already a tumor present, laser therapy will not enhance the growth of the tumor. It is believed that the local immune response caused by laser therapy equals or exceeds the stimulation of tumor growth, counteracting all mutational effects. In addition, there is currently a lot of research being conducted on using lasers in treating certain cancers by a process known as Photodynamic Therapy (PDT).
2. Can laser therapy stimulate bacterial growth?
The answer to this is fairly similar to the above case. Bacteria growth is not stimulated by laser therapy, but neither is there any real bactericidal effect in laser light. However, there is on-going research being performed the effect of laser therapy on bacterial elimination, examining individual bacterial response to laser therapy. As that research becomes available, Laser Light Canada will present these results.
3. Does laser therapy give a false sense of health?
It is incredibly important to recognize that the underlying problem must always be treated. Though pain may disappear after laser therapy, if the existing problem is not treated, you are essentially putting a band-aid over the problem.
4. Why does laser therapy sometimes make the patient tired?
Occasionally patients will report tiredness after laser therapy. In the book Laser Therapy: Clinical Practice and Scientific Background, Tuner and Hode report this is most likely due to the release of metabolites and the result of easing long-standing pain.
5. What is a treatment reaction?
Treatment reaction, or pain reaction, is seen occasionally in patients suffering from chronic conditions. It is seen as a feeling of unwell or slight discomfort the day after treatment. This is due to the clinical effects of laser therapy, such as improved microcirculation and removal of waste products. This does not indicate an overdose, and the pain is usually short-lived. In fact, this can be an indication of the lasers effect.
6. Can laser therapy cause tissue damage?
Reasonable doses given in the course of laser therapy have proved to cause no macroscopic or microscopic damage to tissues (Tuner and Hode, Laser Therapy: Clinical Practice and Scientific Background, 2002).
7. Can laser therapy cause eye damage?
Class 3b indicates that there is a certain risk of eye injury involved with the use of the laser. Reports of eye injury is very minimal and in fact, the restrictions of the use of class 3B lasers as therapeutic instruments have been lifted in Europe since no reports of eye damages from these lasers have been reported (Tuner and Hode, Laser Therapy: Clinical Practice and Scientific Background, 2002).
However, because GaAlAs lasers have a collimated beam and are in the wavelength that would not provoke a blink reflex in strong light, it is advised not to look directly at the laser light or to wear protective glasses. Protective glasses give the patient a sense of security and prevent the therapist from any claims of damage from patients.
8. When would I use a pulsed light?
Research has indicated that when using laser light to treat chronic pain, there may be a slight nerve adaption resulting in your treatment results starting to plateau. To eliminate the probability of this occurring during the treatment of chronic conditions, we recommend that you alternate your treatments between continuous and pulsed light. There will be no difference in the treatment results but the pulsed session will take slightly more time. Alternating your treatments will ensure you are getting the best results possible.
9. How many times will I have to treat a patient?
If you are treating an acute condition, one treatment will suffice. The earlier you can treat the patient after the treatment, the better the results will be. If it is a chronic condition, the length of time for treatment will vary depending on the extent of the injury and how long ago the injury occurred.
10. What happens if my unit requires repair?
If you do run into problems with any of your units, contact Laser Light Canada and we will send you a loaner unit to use while yours is being repaired. The cost of the repair will depend on the problem and whether the unit is under warranty.
11. Can the light guides be sterilized?
The glass light guides should be heat sterilized; the plastic light guides are for one time use.
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